The best Internet brands have worldwide name recognition and a profitable bottom line. Most of these companies began as Internet start-ups and have grown to international corporate giants through work and innovation. Here are ten of the best Internet brands online today.
- Facebook - Founded in 2004, Facebook is just beginning its reign as an Internet behemoth. Still a private company, the website has more than 500 million users worldwide and recently secured massive investments from Wall Street based on its estimated value. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and is operated out of Palo Alto, California.
- Twitter - Twitter has declined in use recently as Facebook has become more popular, but this micro-blogging platform is still one of the best Internet brands. It has taken steps to ensure its continued success by beginning talks to buy spinoff applications such as TweetDeck. The company is run by CEO Dick Costolo and has its headquarters in San Francisco, California.
- Google - Once a developing prodigy, Google has become the dominant name in search as well as one of the most respected Internet brands. Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the late 1990s. In 2010, the company ranked #102 on Fortune's list of the 500 largest U.S. corporations, earning over $23 billion.
- Amazon.com - Amazon.com is the largest name in e-commerce by a mile, bringing in over $24 billion in revenue during 2010. The company, which was in peril during the tech bubble of the late 1990s, rebounded in a big way by improving its customer service and expanding into new products such as Internet video and E-readers.
- eBay - eBay essentially serves as an Internet flea market, where individuals can resell used or new items to others around the world. In 2010, eBay again made the Fortune 500, ranking at #267 with annual revenues of $8.7 billion. The company's market value was four times its revenue that year, cementing eBay's status as one of the best Internet brands.
- Yahoo - Before there was Google, there was Yahoo. Yahoo was the original king of search engines before losing its ranking to Google, but the company has remained a top Internet brand by developing content, acquiring journalists and shaking up their corporate board.
- Netflix - Netflix has single-handedly revolutionized the way people watch movies. The company originally began with its dvd-by-mail rental service, which won many people over, but has established its dominance with the introduction of streaming Internet video. This product has effectively killed the retail video rental service but has boosted Netflix's bottom line. The company's stock was one of the best performers in the market last year.
- iTunes - Apple got its influence through innovative products, but its Internet music and video store iTunes is still the top provider of Internet media. iTunes became so popular because of its ability to offer single episodes and single songs for an affordable price, dwarfing competition from other Internet brands such as Wal-Mart, Rhapsody and Napster.
- Zynga - Many people may not be familiar with the company Zynga, but they certainly know the games it has developed. Zynga has created the wildly popular Internet games FarmVille, CityVille, Mafia Wars and Cafe World. The company was founded by Mark Pincus, who also serves as corporate CEO.
- Quora - Still a relative newcomer to Internet branding, Quora has quickly made its mark online. Quora is an Internet question and answer service, similar to others, but it has attracted Internet heavyweights. Netflix's CEO, Twitter co-founder Mark Williams and former AOL head Steve Case have all answered questions on the website, giving it instant credibility with tech insiders.